Friday, September 30, 2011

Prep football: Southeast-Manatee, the last five.


Southeast-Manatee, Part 30, kicks off in about seven hours.

Here is a look at the last five games of the epic series, which Manatee leads 15-14.


When: Sept. 17

Where: John Kiker Memorial Stadium

The score: Manatee 31, Southeast 24

The story: The Hurricanes overcame a 24-7 deficit at the half thanks in part to RB Mike Blakely, who rushed for 150 yards and four touchdowns. Southeast's Brian Poole rushed for 136 yards before he began cramping, and Manatee DB Rhoshaun Goff's interception sealed the win with less than seven seconds remaining. Prior to the pick, a 48-yard reception by Southeast's Calvin Williams that put the ball on Manatee's 25 with a minute remaining was negated when a Noles' lineman was flagged with a personal foul penalty.

They said it: "We were embarassed, but the coaches reassured us that we're a good football team." - Manatee QB Cord Sandberg.


When: Sept. 18

Where: Joe Kinnan Field at Hawkins Stadium

The score: Manatee 30, Southeast 26

The story: Playing in his fourth and final Southeast-Manatee game, Canes QB Brion Carnes scored on a 4-yard run with less than four minutes left to clinch the win. The play was set up by another senior, linebacker Taylor Shipley, who recovered a Southeast fumble on the Noles' 29 with 5:29 left in the game. Carnes ran for two touchdowns, including one that cut Southeast's lead to 26-24 a minute before the fumble, and threw for two. His counterpart, Dyron Speight, threw for 222 yards and three touchdowns to help give Southeast a 20-14 lead at the half.

They said it: "Two good teams...Running up and down the field, having a good time on a Friday night. That's what high school football is all about." - Southeast coach Paul Maecthle.


When: Sept. 19

Where: John Kiker Memorial Stadium

The score: Manatee 16, Southeast 14

The story: Chase Sandberg, a freshman at the time, kicked a 28-yard field goal with just over four minutes remaining to stretch the Hurricanes' lead to 16-7 and its series winning streak to two. It was a vindicating moment for Sandberg, who had missed a point-extra attempt earlier. Manatee was without star running back Ben Axon, who was suspended for a violation of team rules, but got 75 receiving yards from Eric Williams. Southeast's Waymon Bowden scored both of his team's touchdowns.

They said it: "Every year, and I came out here and watched this game and was like, 'Man, I wish I was out there,'" - Sandberg, who served as Manatee's ball boy when he was younger.


When: Sept. 14

Where: Joe Kinnan Field at Hawkins Stadium

The score: Manatee 28, Southeast 16

The story: The Hurricanes beat Southeast for the first time since 2003 and the second time since 1998, and it wasn't easy, as the Noles lead 16-0 after the first quarter and 16-7 at the half. But Manatee took advantage of an early second-half fumble and made the score 16-14 on Ben Axon's 2-yard run. Then, on the first play of the fourth quarter, Manatee receiver Eric Williams turned a 5-yard hitch into a 56-yard touchdown, giving Manatee, which committed five turnovers, all the points it needed.

They said it: "I can't be more proud of the effort they gave in the second half." - Manatee coach Joe Kinnan, who had not defeated the Seminoles since 1998.


When: Aug. 25

Where: John Kiker Memorial Stadium

The score: Southeast 28, Manatee 21

The story: The Seminoles jumped out to a quick 21-6 lead before the game was halted by rain and lightning with 2:21 remaining in the third quarter. The delay lasted over an hour, and when the teams returned, Manatee made it interesting before a Southeast sack sealed the victory for the home team.

They said it: "We were going to try and play it. That's the object. We needed to play." - Manatee coach Joe Kinnan.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Prep football: Week 5 matchups

(photo by Paul Videla)

Hard to believe, but the 2011 prep football season has already reached the midway point.

Listed below are the matchups, which includes Hershel Caywood, above, and the Manatee Hurricanes meeting Southeast.

As always, head to and the print edition of The Bradenton Herald on Friday for capsules and previews.

Southeast (4-0) at Manatee (1-2)

The skinny: Well, here we go again...the Noles and Canes mixing it up for the 3oth time. Manatee leads the series (15-14) but Southeast, which has won 10 straight regular-season games, is playing great football. The Canes played a couple of nationally-ranked opponents tough, losing by a combined 13 points. It should be epic. Again.

Lakewood Ranch (2-2) at Palmetto (4-0)

The skinny: Both teams are riding high after notching shutouts during last week's district openers, though the Tigers, who haven't allowed a touchdown in two weeks, are absolutely surging. The battle up front between the Mustangs' massive offensive line and Palmetto's quick and relentless front seven will help decide this one.

Fort Myers Cypress Lake (1-2) at Bayshore (2-2)

The skinny: Last week's loss to Wauchula Hardee put a dent in the Bruins' playoff hopes. But a win this week against the Panthers will give Bayshore some much-needed momentum heading into next Friday's must-win district game against Palmetto.

Braden River (0-4) at Port Charlotte (0-4)

The skinny: We know this much: the Pirates will win Friday. But will it be the ones from Manatee County or from Charlotte County? It is in Braden River's best interest to right the ship Friday - the local Pirates open Class 7A-District 10 play next week at Manatee.

St. Petersburg Shorecrest Prep (1-3) at Saint Stephen's (0-3)

The skinny: The Falcons return home to Turner Fields for a 4 p.m. Homecoming meeting with the Chargers. A change of scenery can't hurt Saint Stephen's, which has allowed at least 34 points to all of their opponents this season.

Bradenton Christian (1-3, 1-2 Class 2A Urban-District 5) at St. Petersburg Canterbury (4-0, 3-0)

The skinny: The Panthers margin for error in the postseason hunt is so slim it's barely visible. Beating the Crusaders, however, who are averaging more than 40 points per week, will be tough.

Fort Myers Evangelical Christian (4-0, 2-0 Class 2A Urban-District 6) at Out-of-Door Academy (3-1, 2-1)

The skinny: Forget this being a possible district championship game: thanks to last week's loss to Neumann, the Thunder need to win just to stay in the postseason chase.

Cardinal Mooney (2-2) at Clearwater Central Catholic (3-1)

The skinny: The Cougars and Marauders continue their rivalry, though Mooney may be catching CCC at the wrong time: the Crusaders have outscored foes 82-13 during their current three-game winning streak.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Prep football: Three local teams on AP state poll

(photo by Paul Videla)

Trent Miller and the surging Palmetto Tigers are a top-10 team.

The Tigers are ranked eighth in Class 5A in the latest Associated Press top 1o Florida high school poll, which was released tonight. It's Palmetto's first ranking this season.

The Tigers are 4-0 and ripped through Arcadia DeSoto, 52-0, during Friday's Class 5A-District 10 opener. They host Lakewood Ranch on Friday.

Twenty percent of the Class 5A list resides in Manatee County: Southeast held steady at No. 3, behind top-ranked Glades Central and runner-up Miami Norland, following Friday's 47-7 rout of Sarasota.

The Seminoles (4-0) head to Manatee on Friday.

Speaking of the Hurricanes, they actually moved up a spot to No.9 in Class 7A despite not playing last week. They take a 1-2 record into Friday's rivalry game with the Noles.

Venice, one of Manatee's District 10 foes, entered the 7A poll at No. 10. The Indians are 3-0 following last week's comeback over Charlotte.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Prep football poll: Who wins Southeast-Manatee, Part 30?

(photos by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)

Brian Poole or Cord Sandberg?

Paul Maecthle or Joe Kinnan?

Courtney Allen or Leon Allen?

Southeast and Manatee collide Friday for the 30th time at Hawkins Stadium, with the Hurricanes, winners of the last four meetings, leading the series 15-14.

But the 4-0 Noles are rolling while Manatee, which was off Friday, is 1-2 - though both losses have come to nationally-ranked opponents by a combined 13 points.

Who do you think wins this year's game? Look to the right on vote.

Most of you already like Southeast: 44 percent voted the Noles the area's best team in last week's poll.

So cast your vote today and head to Prep Rally and for features, previews and capsules heading into Friday's showdown.

And then check back with us Saturday morning to see how right - or wrong - you were.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Prep football: Southeast-Manatee will Bright House Game of the Week

Next Friday's game between Southeast and host Manatee will be broadcast live on the Bright House Sports Network.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. It's the 30th meeting between the Hurricanes and Seminoles, and Manatee has won the last four meetings.

Southeast takes a 3-0 record into Friday's game against Sarasota, while Manatee is 1-2 and is off Friday.

Both of the Canes' losses have come to nationally-ranked teams - Our Lady of Good Counsel out of Maryland in Week 1, and Don Bosco Prep out of New Jersey last week.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Prep football: Week 4 matchups

Bayshore running back Calvin Williams and the rest of the Bruins are one of three area public schools beginning district play this week. The Bruins host Wauchula Hardee, while Palmetto (Arcadia DeSoto) and Lakewood Ranch (Gulfport Boca Ciega) open the most important part of the schedule on the road.

Listed below are Friday's matchups. For more insight into each game, check out Friday's capsules on or in the print edition of The Bradenton Herald.

Wauchula Hardee (3-0, 0-0 Class 5A-District 10) at Bayshore (2-1, 0-0)

The skinny: Their losing streak against county schools may be a thing of the past, but the Bruins haven't reached the playoffs since 2005. Beating the white-hot Wildcats on Friday will be a step in the right direction, though that won't be easy: Hardee has allowed 20 points combined in three games this season.

Braden River (0-3) at Riverview (0-3)

The skinny: Someone will be off the schneid come Saturday morning, and if that someone is the Pirates, they will need to muster some offense - Braden River has scored 27 points this season and nine in the last two weeks. New Riverview coach Todd Johnson hasn't had it easy thus far - his first three regular-season opponents were Palmetto, Manatee and Venice.

Lakewood Ranch (1-2, 0-0 Class 6A-District 7) at Gulfport Boca Ciega (1-1, 0-0)

The skinny: This is a six-team district with no clear-cut favorite, so Friday would be a good time for the Mustangs to snap their modest two-game skid. They have found a viable back in McKenzie Hathaway, who is averaging 4.5 yards on 70 carries. The Pirates routed St. Petersburg Northeast last week, when they got a huge performance from lineback Elijah McClendon, who had two sacks and returned a fumble and an interception for a touchdown.

Palmetto (3-0, 0-0 Class 5A-District 10) at Arcadia DeSoto (1-2, 0-0)

The skinny: Beating a slate of bigger Sarasota County schools is nice, but what the Tigers really want is a district championship, which they haven't won since 2008. Their quest begins Friday against a Bulldogs team whose two losses have come by a combined three points.

Sarasota (1-2) at Southeast (3-0)

The skinny: Though not a district game, this is a key one for the Seminoles: they head to Manatee next week and open district play the following Friday against Arcadia DeSoto. So a strong showing against the Sailors would keep the momentum flowing for Southeast, which is currently riding a nine-game regular-season winning streak. The Sailors notched a win last week by rolling over North Port.

Largo Indian Rocks Christian (3-0, 2-0 Class 2A Urban-District 5) at Bradenton Christian (1-2, 1-1)

The skinny: We're still in September, but the Panthers can't afford to lose any more district games if they want to keep their postseason hopes intact. The surging Golden Eagles took to the air last week, when quarterback Casey Woods threw for four touchdowns against St. Petersburg Keswick.

Out-of-Door Academy (3-0, 2-0 Class 2A Urban-District 6) at Naples St. John Neumann (1-2, 1-1)

The skinny: The Thunder are rolling, and a win Friday night in Naples wouldn't just keep them ahead of the district pack, but it would put a serious crimp in the Celtics' playoff hopes. ODA needs to keep the momentum flowing - the Thunder don't play another non-district opponent until they meet Cardinal Mooney during the final week of the regular season. In other words, they have no margin for error.

Englewood Lemon Bay (2-1) at Cardinal Mooney (2-1)

The skinny: The Cougars are in a similar position as Southeast: they face a rival next week (Clearwater Central Catholic) and open district play the following week (at home against Lakeland Christian), so they need to keep their fiery start stoked. The Manta Rays and Cougars share a common opponent - both teams have already played and beat LaBelle - which is rare for non-district foes who aren't exactly neighbors.

BYE WEEK: Manatee, Saint Stephen's.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Prep volleyball: Saint Stephen's knocks off BCS

Backed by a raucous crowd that included some football players with GO FALCONS! painted on their chests, Saint Stephen's volleyball team defeated Bradenton Christian 3-1 tonight at Hoagland Arena in a key Class 3A-District 10 game.
The Falcons are now 8-3 overall and 3-0 in the district. They are now lead the four-team league that also includes Cardinal Mooney and Out-of-Door Academy.
It was the first loss of the year for the Panthers, who are now 7-1 overall and 2-1 in district.
The teams meet again 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Oct. 11 at Bradenton Christian.
For more on this game, head to later tonight or check out Wednesday's printed edition of The Bradenton Herald.

Prep football: Southeast vaults past Manatee in Florida state poll

Southeast's 3-0 start has not gone unnoticed by the folks running the FlaVarsity Top 25 all-classification poll.

The Seminoles jumped two spots to No. 16 following Friday's win over Booker. They play Sarasota on Friday before heading to Hawkins Stadium next week to meet Manatee.

As for the Hurricanes, they fell three spots to No. 18 after losing 22-16 to Don Bosco Prep out of New Jersey. Manatee (1-2) is the only two-loss team in the top 25 thanks in part to its tough schedule: aside from Friday's close loss to the Ironmen, winners of 37 straight, the Hurricanes opened the regular season with a double-overtime loss to nationally-ranked Our Lady of Good Counsel in Olney, Md.

"Not many teams have lost to two nationally-ranked powers by a combined 13 points," the poll reads.

Manatee is off Friday.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Prep football: Week 4 poll

Over 55 percent of you last week picked Manatee as the area's top football team. Will the Hurricanes repeat as the people's choice, or will Paul Maechtle's 3-0 Seminoles, Dave Marino's 3-0 Tigers or Brett Timmons' 3-0 Thunder kick Joe Kinnan and Co. from the top spot?

Or maybe it's 2-1 Bayshore, which defeated Lakewood Ranch on Friday to snap a 14-game skid against county teams.

Once again, it's up to you. Look the right and vote.

Poll is open until Friday morning.

Prep football: Bosco no longer Rivals' top team

Don Bosco Prep may have left Hawkins Stadium on Friday and returned to New Jersey with its winning streak still intact. But the Ironmen are no longer sitting atop the RivalsHigh100.

Bosco, which defeated Manatee 22-16 during the first game of Friday's Manatee Memorial Hospital Suncoast Challenge for its 37th-straight win, is now fifth in Rivals' latest rankings, which were unveiled this morning.

Allen High in Allen, Tx., is the new No.1.

"A game of tough sledding against Manatee last Friday proved enough evidence to move the team down," wrote Dallas Jackson, Rivals' senior analyst for high school sports, on Monday's rankings, "especially in a year when so many top schools have more impressive road wins."

Manatee led the Ironmen 10-9 with less than seven minutes remaining in the game.

The Hurricanes dropped three spots on Rivals' list and are now at No. 83 heading into the bye week.

When it came to Bosco, however, not everyone had a change of heart. The Ironmen are still No. 1 on ESPNRise's Powerade Fab 50 football rankings as well as MaxPreps' Xcellent 25.

Manatee is still ranked by ESPN, having dropped 20 spots to No. 39. And it appears the voters have taken Manatee's schedule into account: the Hurricanes are the only team on the list with two losses.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Prep football: Things don't get that much easier for Hurricanes

While the Hurricanes may not see the likes of Our Lady of Good Counsel or Don Bosco Prep during the rest of their regular season, their remaining schedule isn't exactly a cakewalk.

Manatee is off Friday, but returns Sept. 30 to host rival Southeast, which takes a 3-0 record into next week's non-district game against Sarasota.

After a Class 7A-District 10 opener with Braden River on Oct. 7, the Canes host Class 8A Weston Cypress Bay (Oct. 14), which played into last year's Class 6A state semifinals, and rival Venice (Oct. 21) in a game that will probably determine the District 10 title.

The one caveat is Manatee doesn't travel too far from the friendly confines of Hawkins Stadium: the Canes' next four games are home. And when they do hit the road, the Hurricanes' longest ride will be a Nov. 4 trip to Sarasota High.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Manatee 7, Don Bosco 6 at halftime

Manatee leads Don Bosco Prep, the nation's No. 1 team, 7-6 at halftime, and gets the ball to open the second half.
The Ironmen scored first on Jabril Peppers' 31-yard touchdown run with :23.4 left in the first quarter. The play was set up when Bosco used a fake punt, getting the ball to the Canes' 31.
The Canes took the lead with 10:05 left in the second when Anthony Lauro scored on an 8-yard reverse, which was aided by Shawn Wilkes' crushing block.
Lauro has having another big night - six catches for 59 yards, and four carries for 13.
Manatee's defense has been big, too, turning the Ironmen away on a 4th-and-10 from the Canes' 42-yard line.
Will the Canes hold and snap Bosco's 36-game winning streak?
Follow me on Twitter @JohnLembo1878 and find out.

Prep football: Getting know to Don Bosco Prep and Bergen Catholic

(photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)

Bergen Catholic's Nunzio Campanile, left, and Don Bosco Prep's Greg Toal lead their teams into Hawkins Stadium tonight for the Manatee Memorial Hospital Suncoast Challenge.

Both teams are based out of New Jersey. Campanile's Crusaders face Tampa Plant at 8:30 p.m. after Toal's Ironmen meet Manatee at 6 p.m.

Here is a look at the Garden State powers, who have combined to win 29 state championships.


Hometown: Ramsey, N.J., located less than 30 miles from Manhattan.

Enrollment: 900

Coach: Greg Toal, 133-10 in 13 seasons at Bosco; 259-32-2 overall.

This year's record: 1-0

Last year: The Ironmen went 12-0 and romped to their fifth straight Non-Public Group IV state title, which they clinched by beating Bergen Catholic 37-27 in the title game. The 10-point spread was Bosco's smallest margin of victory last season, as the Ironmen limited eight opponents to seven points or less. Bosco is ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPN, USA Today, MaxPreps and Rivals, and was named the 2009 prep national champion.

Keep your eye on: Leonte Carroo, sr., WR; Darius Hamilton, sr., DL; Yuri Wright, sr., CB; Elijah Shumante, sr., SS; Michael Strizak, sr., LB; Jabril Peppers, so., DB.

Of note: The Ironmen have won 36 straight games, including Saturday's 35-7 rout of Mission Viejo, Calif....Hamilton's father, Keith, was a defensive lineman with the New York Giants and a member of their 2000 NFC championship team...Toal's son Brian was named the Big East's Rookie of the Year in 2004 while at Boston College...Greg Toal served as an assistant at Bergen Catholic in 1976-77 and made his head-coaching debut in 1982 with Saddle Brook High.


Hometown: Oradell, N.J., 15 miles from Manhattan.

Enrollment: 750

Coach: Nunzio Campanile, 11-2 in two seasons at Bergen Catholic.

This year's record: 1-0

Last year: The Crusaders came one win shy of their first state tile since 2004, falling to Bosco in the Non-Public Group IV championship game. In fact, both of Bergen's losses came to the rival Ironmen, though the state final (37-27) was a lot closer than the teams' regular-season meeting (38-18). Those 18 points were the fewest Bergen scored all season.

Keep your eye on: Chucky Wingate, sr., WR; John Tsimis, jr., WR; Hunter Kisselick, sr., DL; Michael Gerst, sr., RB.

Of note: Campanile served as Bosco Prep's offensive coordinator for 10 years and also worked as the school's wrestling coach and athletic director before taking over the Crusaders. He led Bosco's wrestling team to a state title in 2010...The Crusaders' ruled New Jersey football in the 1990s, winning 99 games and seven state championships...Bergen Catholic entered this season with an all-time record of 365-130-12...The Crusaders have won at least two state titles in every decade since the 1960s.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Prep football: Week 3 matchups

(photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)

Courtney Allen and the Southeast Seminoles look to stay undefeated Friday when they head to Sarasota to face Booker.

Here is a look at this week's games. For more on each matchup, check out Friday's capsules on and The Bradenton Herald.

Don Bosco Prep (1-0) at Manatee (1-1)

The skinny: You may have heard a little something about this one, which begins at 6 p.m. and kicks off the Manatee Memorial Hospital Suncoast Challenge. Jersey-based Bosco Prep sits on top of nearly every national poll, especially in the wake of Saturday's statement-making 35-7 win over powerful Mission Viejo, Calif. The Hurricanes showed no ill effects of their Week 1 loss in Maryland by pummeling Riverview last week and could get back on the national radar with a strong showing against the Ironmen.

Game 2 pits Tampa Plant against Bergen Catholic, another Jersey powerhouse, at 8:30 p.m.

Lakewood Ranch (1-1) at Bayshore (1-1)

The skinny: Both teams should come out on the field to Springsteen's "Born to Run," because you won't see much passing Friday at Balvanz Stadium. Lakewood Ranch has the size, though the Bruins showed some speed in last week's 34-point pasting of Port Charlotte. Will it be enough for Bayshore to beat a county team for the first time since 2007, or will the Mustangs be able to bounce back from Friday's loss to Southeast?

Palmetto (2-0) at Braden River (0-2)

The skinny: The Pirates' offense sputtered last week after quarterback Steven Ross hurt his ankle late in the first half and never returned, and things don't get much easier this week against a Palmetto defense bursting with speed, size and experience. But don't sleep on the Tigers' offense - yeah, they can run (see: Josh Hicks), but quarterback Trent Miller's big game last week at Sarasota let everyone know they can pass, too.

Southeast (2-0) at Booker (0-2)

The skinny: The Seminoles may have been outsized last week against Lakewood Ranch, but that didn't stop them from scoring 33 points thanks in part to Courtney Allen's 188 rushing yards. Southeast should thrive again Friday against a Booker team that yielded 63 points last Friday to Venice.

Tampa Cambridge (1-1, 0-1 Class 2A Urban-District 5) at Bradenton Christian (1-1, 1-0)

The skinny: The Panthers have scored 90 points in two weeks and have found a bona fide back in Avian Humphrey (389 rushing yards), who scored six touchdowns last week against Northside Christian. And first-year quarterback Ryan Cobb (378 passing yards, 146 rushing, 7 total touchdowns) has adapted well to running an offense. But BCS' defense will need to clamp down on a Cambridge team that has scored 97 points in two weeks.

Southwest Florida Christian (1-0, 0-0 Class 2A Urban-District 6) at Saint Stephen's (0-2, 0-2)

The skinny: The young Falcons went into halftime tied last week with Naples First Baptist before things slipped away in the second half, and they have had a hard time against the run thus far. But receiver Adam Vining (10 catches) has made a fine target for quarterback Michael Roberts, and Saint Stephen's may be more accustomed to playing under the lights at Palma Sola Park than they were last week. The Kings, who were off last week, blasted Central Florida Christian Academy (51-0) in Week 1.

Moore Haven (2-0, 1-0 Class 2A Urban-District 6) at Out-of-Door Academy (2-0, 1-0)

The skinny: ODA coach Brett Timmons continues to work his magic with the Thunder, one of three undefeated teams in the area. Now they are locked in a key game against the Terriers. A key game in Week 3? Welcome to life in an eight-team district, where nearly every game counts.

Cardinal Mooney (1-1) at Lake Placid (1-1)

The skinny: It may seem like a long ride for a non-district game, but the Cougars need to get used to it: they play on the road this season against Class 3A-District 6 foes Fort Meade and Frostproof. Win or lose, playing the Dragons on Friday could pay dividends for Cardinal Mooney later this fall.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Prep football: Rankings update

(photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)

Cord Sandberg and the Manatee Hurricanes are on the move in the always-interesting world of prep football polls.

The Canes went up on the Powerade Fab 50 ESPNHS Team Rankings, moving from No. 24 to No. 19 following their 48-6 romp over Riverview. The folks at the RivalsHigh 100 saw things a bit differently, however, bumping Manatee down a spot to No. 80.

On the state level, Class 7A Manatee remained at No. 8 in the Associated Press high school poll and No. 4 in the latest rankings. The Canes did fall in Rivals' Florida rankings, slipping from No. 8 to No. 15.

Meanwhile, kept 2-0 Southeast No. 3 in Class 5A while Palmetto (2-0), unranked in last week's poll, is now No. 16 in the same classification.

The Seminoles moved from No. 25 to No. 21 in Rivals' state poll and moved from No. 4 to No. 3 in the AP Poll.

Though Palmetto didn't crack the Associated Press' top 10, the Tigers received eight votes.

Got all that?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Prep football: Which is the best team in the area? You tell me.

A new poll is up here at Prep Rally, and it's pretty basic: pick the best football team in area heading into Week 3.
Is it Palmetto and coach Dave Marino, pictured above, which is 2-0 after convincing wins over Riverview and Sarasota? Or maybe it's Southeast, also 2-0 following Friday's win against Lakewood Ranch.
Or maybe it's Manatee, which nearly beat nationally-ranked Our Lady of Good Counsel on the road two weeks ago and ran all over the Rams on Friday night.
It can be any of the 10 teams in our coverage area. It's up to you.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Prep football: Bosco routs Mission Viejo, heads to Bradenton with 36-game winning streak

(photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)

Don Bosco Prep and its coach, Greg Toal, pictured above right, had little trouble in its regular-season opener Saturday, beating Mission Viejo, Calif. 35-7.
It's the 36th win in a row for the Ironmen, who head to Hawkins Stadium to play Manatee on Friday and are ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today, ESPNRise and MaxPreps.
Misson Viejo (1-1) entered the game ranked sixth in the county by ESPN and fourth in the West by USA Today's Super 25 regional rankings.
The Hurricanes (1-1) and Ironmen play at 6 p.m. to kick off the Manatee Memorial Hospital Suncoast Challenge.
Tampa Plant and Bergen Catholic (N.J.) will play Game 2 beginning at 8:30 p.m.
The last time the nation's top-ranked team came to Hawkins Stadium was December 2009, when Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas played Manatee in a Class 5A state semifinal.
Manatee ended Aquinas' 37-game winning streak with a 28-20 win.

Prep rally: Canes' Tankersley returns to form

Manatee kicker Nick Tankersley was one of several Hurricanes who had a big night during Fridy's 48-6 win over Riverview.
Tankersley's performance, however,may have been the most reassuring of all.
He converted all six extra-point attempts, nailed field goals of 36 and 42 yards and sent all eight of his kickoffs in the end zone.
This came a week after he went 1-for-5 on field-goal attempts in a 24-17 double-overtime loss to Our Lady of Good Counsel.
Yet Tankersley's final line doesn't tell all of the story from last Friday: two of his misses were from over 50 yards (51 and 53), and the 28-yarder he made in overtime was wiped away when Manatee was penalized for a false start.
And his making of a 28-yarder with just over three seconds left in the fourth quarter sent the game to overtime.
Yet Friday's game against the Rams was vintage Tankersley.
"He needed something to get his confidence back this week. Last week, he didn't have a good game," said coach Joe Kinnan. "But that's behind us, and we've got to move on."
The Canes know what they have in Tankersley, who totaled 72 points and 43 touchbacks last season while averaging 38.6 yards per punt. He has caught the eye of numerous Division I programs.
Nonetheless, Friday night was a good sign that Tankersley is back to his reliable self.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Prep football: Manatee 38, Riverview 0 at halftime

It's all Manatee here at Hawkins Stadium, where Manatee leads Riverview 38-0 at the half.
The Hurricanes' offense has been paced by RB/WR Anthony Lauro (128 rushing, 48 receiving, 2 TDs), QB Cord Sandberg (110 passing yards, 71 rushing yards, 1 passing TD, 1 rushing TD) and RB Leon Allen (36 rushing yards, 2 TDs).
But Manatee's defense has been absolutely stingy, limiting Riverview to 89 total yards. Blake Keller has 1.5 sacks, Marquis Dawsey has 1 sack and Clinton Heaven picked off a pass from Rams' QB Tater Williams with 37.5 seconds left in the half and Riverview going in from the Canes' 2.

Prep football: Canes all over Rams

Manatee is all over Riverview, as the Hurricanes lead 24-0 early in the second quarter.
Manatee's Anthony Lauro has 108 yards rushing, 25 yards recieving and a pair of touchdowns.
Defensively, the Hurricanes have forced four Rams punts in four possessions. Riverview has yet to cross 30.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Prep football: Week 2 matchups

(photo by Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)

Leon Gilbert and the Palmetto Tigers hope to further their hot streak when they head to Sarasota on Friday for Week 2 of the regular season.

Listed below are Friday's games. For more on each game, check out the capsules Friday on or in Friday's edition of The Bradenton Herald.


The skinny: It's the Seminoles' speed against the Mustangs' size in this week's only all-area matchup.

RIVERVIEW (o-1) at MANATEE (0-1)

The skinny: The Hurricanes are looking to bounce back from last week's maddening loss in Maryland while the Rams are looking to win their first regular-season game under new coach Todd Johnson.

PALMETTO (1-0) at SARASOTA (1-0)

Tke skinny: First came Venice in the Kickoff Classic. Then it was Riverview in Friday's season-opener. Now the Tigers set their sights on another Sarasota County school. This time, however, they'll have to do it away from the cozy confines of Harllee Stadium.


The skinny: The Pirates had no answer for a Lakewood Ranch ground game that racked up 230 yards. But Braden River did throw for 190 yards.


The skinny: The run-first Bruins will need to get more from their backfield than they did in last week's loss to Tampa Catholic. The Pirates, who gave up 306 rushing yards to Golden Gate on Friday, may give Bayshore plenty of chances to do so.


The skinny: Sean McAdams' arm and Anthony Caiazzo's legs were too much last week for LaBelle, and they may not run into much resistance against a Verot team that allowed 267 rushing yards to Mariner.

NAPLES COMMUNITY SCHOOL (0-1, 0-1 Class 2AUrban-District6) AT OUT-OF-DOOR ACADEMY (1-0, 0-0)

The skinny: The Thunder head right into district play, hoping the pass-and-catch tandem of Evan Wilson and Brian Ragone find more success. Community School lost 41-7 on Friday to Evangelical, giving up two touchdowns on special teams and another on an offensive fumble.


The skinny: It's the league opener for both teams, but it's a huge game for the Panthers, who have come within a game of reaching the playoffs the past three years. Northside fell 17-0 on Friday to Shorecest Prep.


The skinny: It's the first of four Falcons' night games at Palma Sola Park as they continually try to build enthusiasm for the program. Quarterback Michael Roberts, however, may do that himself, especially after he ran for 105 yards and threw for 78 last week. Naples First Baptist lead Moore Haven by 10 at halftime, but allowed a kickoff return and punt return for a touchdown en route to a 41-31 loss. It may be early, but the losing team will have a hard time making the playoffs.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Prep football: Noles rise, Canes fall in latest AP Poll

Southeast and Manatee went in different directions in the latest Associated Press Top 10 Florida high school poll, which was released Tuesday.

The Seminoles moved up to No. 4 in Class 5A following Thursday's 21-13 win over Largo. Glades Central is ranked No.1, earning 15 of 16 first-place votes.

The Class 7A Hurricanes dropped five spots to No. 8 following their 24-17 loss to Our Lady of Good Counsel on Friday in double overtime.

Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, which beat Manatee in the Class 5A state semifinals en route to winning a state title last year, is the unanimous No.1, having earned all 16 first-place votes.

Prep football: Canes still ranked despite loss

A double-overtime loss at Our Lady of Good Counsel last week wasn't enough to knock Manatee out of this week's PowerAde Fab 50 ESPNHS rankings or the RivalsHigh 100.
The Canes fell to No. 24 on ESPN'S list after opening the regular season at No. 8. Good Counsel moved up eight spots to No. 11.
Manatee fell three spots in the RivalsHigh countdown, landing at N0. 79.
"Manatee fans may blame a bad spot for its 24-17 loss," wrote the folks at Rivals. "But the team had chances to win and didn't."
Rivals had the Hurricanes at No. 36 entering the season, but dropped them following a 20-14 win against Delray Beach American Heritage in a Kickoff Classic.
Good Counsel moved up from No. 28 to 27 on Rivals' rankings.
Manatee hosts Riverview this week.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Prep football: What others are saying about Manatee-Good Counsel

(photo by Preston Keres)

Friday's game between Manatee and host Our Lady Good Counsel brought out over 4,000 fans and tons of media to Kline Stadium.

USA Today wrote how the game's final spot was "right on the 25-yard line", while Good Counsel coach Bob Milloy told The Washington Post he was "very sorry" the game ended the way that it did. Milloy added that the Falcons' all-world receiver, Stefon Diggs, called the play that resulted in Good Counsel's game-winning touchdown that sealed a 24-17 victory in double overtime.

Prep football: Saturday morning in Laurel

OK, so I snapped this photo Friday night at Dancel Field. But I still get a kick out of seeing fresh fruit served at a prep football game. And for just $1!

Anyway, it's about 8:40 a.m., and the Hurricanes are heading back to their rooms after having breakfast. They are heading out at about 9:30 a.m. to take a tour of Washington, D.C., which according to MapQuest, is less than 30 miles from the hotel in Laurel.

Their flight back is slated to leave Baltimore-Washington International Airport at 3:30 and land in Tampa at 5:45.

Curious to see where Mantee sits in the national rankings following Friday's game. The Hurricanes dropped 39 spots in the RivalsHigh 100 after WINNING their Kickoff Classic against Delray Beach American Heritage, so even though they took a tough national power to double overtime on the road, don't be surprised to see them unranked in some polls heading into next Friday's game with Riverview.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Prep football: Live from Olney, Md.

(by John Lembo) You are looking live a Dancel Field, home of the Our Lady of Good Counsel Falcons, who face Manatee in about 80 minutes.
The field had turf installed about two years ago, and it looks good. In the above picture, the Hurricanes walk the turf before kickoff, getting acclimated to the conditions.
It's cool, dry and breezy, with temperatures expected to bottom out at about 65 degrees.
Yeah, we're not in Florida anymore.

Prep football: Manatee-Good Counsel makes MaxPreps' list; Good Counsel the favorite

(photo by John Lembo)

Manatee's game tonight in Olney, Md., against Our Lady of Good Counsel has made the list of MaxPreps' top 10 high school football games of the week.

Most of the site's writers are picking Good Counsel, ranked 15th in MaxPreps' Xcellent 25, to hand the Canes their first Week 1 loss since 2006 (Southeast).

Listed below are the predictions:

Mitch Stephens: Manatee, 21-20

Steve Montoya: Good Counsel, 27-14

Stephen Spiewak: Good Counsel, 21-17

Kevin Askeland: Good Counsel, 28-21

James DeMoney: Good Counsel, 24-10

Prep football: Friday morning in Laurel, Md.

(photo by John Lembo) That's the view from my fifth-floor room at the Holiday Inn Laurel-West in Laurel, Md., which is also home to the Manatee Hurricanes this weekend.
The Canes head to Olney tonight to face Our Lady of Good Counsel at 7 p.m.
Today promises to be a quiet day for the Canes and their coaches. After having breakfast in the hotel dining room, they are going to spend time relaxing and watching film before grabbing lunch and starting their pregame routine at about 3:15 p.m.
It's overcast right now in Laurel, but the weather tonight in Olney is supposed to be clear with a low of about 65 degrees, and a 20 percent chance of rain.

Prep football: Chase Sandberg out for the season

(photo by Grant Jefferies)

There will be no more football for Chase Sandberg.

Not at Manatee, anyway.

The senior wide receiver will undergo surgery on his left labrum Monday, Sept. 12, and will be out four months.

"Football is completely out (for this season)," Sandberg said Thursday after he and the rest of the Hurricanes landed in Baltimore for Friday's game against Our Lady of Good Counsel in Olney, Md.

Sandberg suffered the injury to his shoulder, which has already been worked on once, during a scrimmage prior to last week's Kickoff Classic with Delray Beach American Heritage. A three-year varsity player, Sandberg was a defensive back last year and grabbed a team-best three interceptions.

The plan this fall was for him to move back to receiver and catch passes from his brother, Cord, Manatee's junior quarterback.

"He can't focus too much on it," Chase said of the brothers not being able to play pitch-and-catch this season. "He has a season to worry about...My mom is taking it pretty hard."

Despite being unable to play, Sandberg still took the trip to Maryland with the team, though he did not want to clog up a roster spot.

"I didn't want to take the place of a kid who really deserved it," Chase said. "I told the coaches that, but I guess that didn't happen...I really want to put on my pads and hold. That's about all I can do right now."

The silver lining is that Chase should be 100 percent come baseball season. A shortstop, he helped the Hurricanes reach the Class 5A state semifinals last spring, and he has already received offers from Florida Southern and State College of Florida.

"I'm pretty much a baseball guy," Chase said, though he added that once he has recovered, he will still able to play football in college should he decide to go that route. "And it's my left shoulder, not my right. So that's a good thing.

"God has a plan for me."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Prep football: Canes touch down in Maryland

(photo by John Lembo)

Manatee's football team arrived safely at Baltimore-Washington International Airport on Thursday night in anticipation of Friday's game at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Olney, Md.

The team's plane landed at exactly 8:30 p.m., and after making their way to the baggae claim and past a handful of cheering, camera-toting parents, the coaches and players hopped on two school buses - another bus was full of luggage and equipment - and made the 25-minute drive to nearby Laurel to the Holiday Inn Laurel West.

Waiting for them in the lobby were sandwiches from Chick-Fil-A and drinks.

Manatee coach Joe Kinnan, pictured above going over room assignments with some of his players, said his team will spend most of Friday watching film. The Canes had a walkthrough Thursday prior to flying out of Tampa.

Friday's game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.